Lords of Metal
Arrow Lords of Metal

FEAR FACTORY recruits BUTCHER BABIES' Ricky Bonazza as fill-in bassist


FEAR FACTORY has recruited Ricky Bonazza (BUTCHER BABIES) to play bass for the band for the next few shows while FEAR FACTORY‘s regular four-stringer Tony Campos is busy touring with STATIC-X.

Bonazza made his live debut with FEAR FACTORY Saturday (April 27) at the Sick New World festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fan-filmed video can be seen below.

Prior to the Sick New World gig, Bonazza took to his social media to write: “Stoked and honored to be joining my friends in @fearfactory for these next few shows. I will be helping out on bass, stepping in for the great Tony Campos. Thanks @dinocazares @milo.silvestro and @petewebberdrums for the trust. Next stop @sicknewworld then off to Asia.”

Earlier this year, FEAR FACTORY recruited SCATTERED STORM‘s Javier Arriaga to play bass on the veteran Los Angeles-based act’s North American shows with MACHINE HEAD.

In a recent interview with Brutal Planet MagazineFEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares spoke about the band’s plans to make a new studio album in 2024. The effort will mark FEAR FACTORY‘s recording debut with the group’s latest addition, Italian-born vocalist Milo Silvestro, whose addition to FEAR FACTORY was officially announced in February 2023.

“We’ve been working on stuff in between tours and stuff like that,” Dino said. “We wanna try to get something out as soon as possible, but it may be it may be a little bit of a while because we have a lot of touring coming up — a lot. If you go to fearfactory.com and go to tour dates, you’ll see it’s getting filled up and filled up most of this year. I’m trying to stop at the end of June so we can go straight into the studio and start recording. But we’re pretty much booked from now to the end of June, and it’s gonna be a good six months.”

Asked if he and his FEAR FACTORY bandmates are writing songs right now or if they are also working on music while on tour, Dino said: “A little bit of both… Sometimes it’s kind of hard, especially for Milo, ’cause he’s gonna be singing every night while on the road. So, he would only really be able to do stuff on the days off, or something like that, because you’ve gotta rest your voice. When we’re touring as much as we do every day, playing every day, it’s wear and tear on the vocals. That’s the most sensitive thing. So we try to take it easy. But still, it’s enough to get some ideas down and stuff like that.”

Regarding whether Milo is a “good lyricist”, Dino said: “Oh, yeah. He’s got some other little projects that he works on and the lyrics are really good. So we’re not gonna have any issues with that. That was one of the main things that a lot of people have been complaining — not complaining, but the Internet type of bitching. It was, like, ‘Okay. Yeah, he could sing great live. He could do all the songs great live. But what’s it gonna be like when he does the record? How’s his lyrics gonna be? How’s this gonna be?’ Relax. It’s all gonna be good. Don’t worry.”

Cazares went on to say that FEAR FACTORY fans can definitely expect to hear new music in 2024. “We’ve gotta at least put a single out before the end of the year,” he said.

Last fall, Dino told Nyva Zarbano that Milo “brings obviously a freshness that FEAR FACTORY needed. The last singer that we had (Burton C. Bell), obviously he had a lot of vocal issues and he really couldn’t sing or do any of this kind of heavy touring,” he explained. “It just was a big setback for us. So bringing Milo into the band, obviously he’s got a great voice, he’s very talented, he’s a multi-instrumentalist. He could play more than one instrument. The kid’s very talented. Of course, the story is I found him on the Internet. He was releasing videos of him doing FEAR FACTORY covers and he was posting them on all the FEAR FACTORY fan sites. And I saw him there, and I was, like, ‘Okay, that’s really got my attention.’ But we had many people audition, but he was the one that really stood out. And he’s a huge fan of FEAR FACTORY. And he pretty much learned from listening to our older vocalist. So he learned a lot of his stuff. And so, I mean, if you close your eyes, you think it’s the original singer.”

In a separate interview with Australia’s “Everblack” podcast, Cazares was asked if Silvestro was “getting more comfortable” with his position as the frontman of the long-running California metal act. Dino responded: “Oh, yeah. I mean, from the first day, we talked about a lot of stuff. Before the tour started, we rehearsed, and we were, like, ‘Okay, these are the kind of things that we’ve done before. And I think you need to do this, this, this.’ And he goes, ‘Okay.’ So then the first day of the tour comes, he just goes wild. And I’m, like, ‘Oh, shit.’ I was, like, ‘Calm down.’ I go, ‘You don’t need to go insane everywhere. Just focus on singing, focus on getting everything, giving the crowd all equal attention,’ blah, blah. There’s certain things you just gotta teach him a little bit, right? And so he pretty much nailed it the first day.”

FEAR FACTORY played its first headlining concert with Silvestro and touring drummer Pete Webber on May 5, 2023 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.

Earlier last year, FEAR FACTORY completed the “Rise Of The Machine” U.S. tour as the support act for STATIC-X marked the Cazares-led outfit’s first run of shows with Silvestro and Webber.

Webber has been filling in for FEAR FACTORY‘s longtime drummer Mike Heller who is unable to play with the band due to “scheduling conflicts.”

Last fall, FEAR FACTORY completed a European tour. The 44-date trek marked the band’s first European shows since 2016. Joining them on this run were BUTCHER BABIES from the USA and IGNEA from Ukraine.

Pressed about whether there is any chance of a reconciliation with FEAR FACTORY down the line, Burton said: “I’m done. I haven’t spoken to Dino in three years. I haven’t spoken to Raymond (Herrera, drums) and Christian (Olde Wolbers, bass) in longer than that, and I have no intention to. I’m just moving forward with my life.”

Cazares recently confirmed that he and the new FEAR FACTORY vocalist have begun work on material for the follow-up to 2021’s “Aggression Continuum” album.

In February 2022,  former NIGHTRAGE singer Antony Hämäläinen, who unsuccessfully auditioned for the vocalist slot in FEAR FACTORY, revealed in an interview that the new FF frontman was “a person from Italy.”

“Aggression Continuum” was released in June 2021 via Nuclear Blast Records. The LP, which was recorded primarily in 2017, features Cazares and Bell alongside drummer Mike Heller.

Social media